Jenn Suhr pole vaults in NYC

NEW YORK – Now that she’s secured a new deal with adidas and notched a new world-high for 2014, Olympic pole-vaulter Jenn Suhr is going to Macy’s.

“Anytime we come to New York it’s always for a meet, for business,” said Suhr, the world’s top-ranked women’s pole-vaulter and the reigning gold medalist at the 2012 London Games. “So today, we said when I’m done, we’re coming here and really spending time and enjoying it. Now I have a couple days where I can chill out and do a little shopping.”

RocJocks: Suhr added to the list

After a busy 48 hours, Suhr and her husband and coach, Rick, will look to balance recovery time — in advance of Saturday’s Grand Prix event at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island — with the opportunity to be a tourist, one that often eludes the pair during their annual trips down from Riga.

“I’m not going to get her out of here without going in that front door,” Rick Suhr said.

One might politely suggest that Suhr has earned the opportunity to window shop — or shop, period.

Shortly after arriving in Manhattan on Monday, Jenn and Rick Suhr put the finishing touches on a new deal with adidas, her sponsor since 2006. The new agreement will be retroactive to January and run until 2018, encompassing her projected run at another gold medal at the 2016 Rio Games.

“We’re happy with it. We’ve been with them for eight years,” Rick Suhr said. “It’s been a winning recipe. Adidas is a great company, obviously, and our formula with them and that relationship has worked to tremendous success.”

On Wednesday, Suhr and four fellow pole-vaulters — the United States’ April Steiner, Megan Clark and Janice Keppler and Greece’s Ekateríni Stefanídi — held a friendly event in Midtown Manhattan’s Herald Square, vaulting against the backdrop of the Empire State Building.

Suhr won the event in a jump-off with Stefanídi, clearing a 15-foot, 6-inch bar in her final vault — setting a new women’s high for 2014.

The vault is an encouraging omen for Saturday’s meet, one that will include five of the best women’s pole-vaulters in the world, but the event itself — how it gave women’s pole-vaulting a prime spot at the crossroads of the world — was the biggest positive, Suhr said.

“This is great for the crowd, this is great for us and the athletes, so hopefully in the future something like this can happen again and we can build off of it,” she said. “To be out here and to have the support of New Yorkers … it’s such an iconic place. And to bring the pole vault, an event that is fun to watch, glamorous, risky, everything all at once here in New York, it fits.”

Rick Suhr called Wednesday’s event “great way to bring exposure to the sport.”

“It’s a great lead-up that exposes track and field to the everyday person who doesn’t watch it on TV,” he said. “Walking up the street and you’re right next to it, now you’re like, ‘Whoa, that’s a 16-foot bar. I want to watch this.’ It gives it great exposure.

“There’s a lot of New Yorkers who never see this, so they get to see an Olympic athlete up close. It gives unbelievable exposure to Jenn. Photographers were all saying the same thing: ‘How do we not know about this sport?'”


Jenn Suhr
Jenn Suhr

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